A lawyer for Sydney Lemos says that investors entered into forex trading knowing the risks, making the case a civil - rather than a criminal - matter
Lawyers for a Dubai trader who was arrested in the $200m Exential Group foreign exchange scam in 2016 plan appeal his sentence of more than 500 years in prison, according to Indian media reports.
Sydney Lemos, together with co-conspirator Ryan Fernandez, were detained after an investor claimed they did not receive returns owed to them by Exential, which had promised to “double” a $25,000 trading investment.
The same year, Dubai authorities closed the company’s offices in Media City and ordered that it stop trading.
Lemos was sentenced to over 500 years in prison in April, each year accounting for one case against him.
This week, however, legal advisor Wilbur Menezes told the Times of India that he will travel to Dubai to file an appeal, adding that he is confident it will be successful.
“Sydney Lemos was running a legitimate forex trading business wherein customers knew the risks involved, in furtherance of which they entered into agreements,” he is quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“At the most, the actions may make out a civil wrong for contractual breach, but by no stretch of imagination and creativity can a criminal wrong be made out.”
Lemos’ wife, Valany – who has also been implicated in the case but not charged by the Dubai court – is quoted as saying she holds one of Exential’s relationship managers responsible for the conviction, and accusing him of attempting to set up his own forex company.
According to Valany, the manager “conspired to two investors” to “artificially create panic among investors to try and spook Exential’s investor confidence so as to force them to withdraw their invested amounts and close accounts with Exential.”
She also alleged that the relationship manager and his accomplices filed false complaints with Dubai Police, which were covered by the media and quickly spread on social media.
“This resulted in more investors panicking and filing similar criminal complaints,” she said.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.